Monday, June 8, 2015




As written in my previous post,  there are five main reasons to vote AGAINST the Noichl Initiative Report, EU Strategy for Equality between Women and Men post 2015 that you need to keep in mind while voting next Tuesday, 9th June.  Most important arguments are as follows
  1.  48% of the Noichl Report’s paragraphs are in clear contradiction to the EU Principle of Subsidiarity.
  2. 35% of paragraphs are «off topic» with regard to the subject of the report: Strategy on Equality between men and women post 2015.
  3. 17% of paragraphs entail serious risks of restrictions on freedom of speech of the media, freedom of education and freedom in the context of contractual agreements.
  4. Seven Considerations (from S to X) introduce non-scientific based elements, as well as unfounded allegations.

(Source Europe for Family):


(You can find the Noichl report here)



Please find below an explanation of these arguments (Source: Europe For Family)

Argument 1: 48%of the Noichl Report’s paragraphs are in direct contradiction to the EU Principle of Subsidiarity: 

- 13. Calls on the Commission to assess the possibility of the EU acceding to the Istanbul Convention and initiate the procedure as soon as possible, as well as to promote the ratification of the Istanbul Convention by the EU Member States through the new strategy and work actively to combat violence against women and girls; calls on the Member States to sign and ratify the Istanbul Convention as soon as possible;

- 24. Calls on the Commission to ensure that Member States enable the full legal recognition of a person’s preferred gender, including change of first name, social security number and other gender indicators on identity documents;

- 53. Urges the Commission to include sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHRs), in its next EU Health Strategy, in order to ensure equality between women and men and complement national SRHR policies;

- 60. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to act to implement sexual education programmes in schools and ensure counselling and access to contraception for young people;

- 65. Instructs the Commission to conduct a study of the everyday impact of gender portrayal in public life, the media and educational institutions, focusing in particular on bullying at school, hate speech and gender-based violence;

- 76. Calls on the Commission to promote the use of gender mainstreaming, gender budgeting and gender impact assessment in all areas and for each legislative proposal at all levels of governance and thus, ensure specific gender equality targets; asks the Court of Auditors to incorporate the gender perspective when assessing the execution of the Union budget; asks Member States similarly to introduce the gender dimension in their budgets in order to analyse government programmes and policies, their impact on the allocation of resources and their contribution to equality between men and women;

- 79. Stresses the importance of the partnership between the Commission and Parliament and therefore, proposes that the Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality submit an annual progress report in oral and written form to the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality - from the perspective both of the Commission and the Member States and adopting a country-specific approach in reporting with specific information on each Member State - on the objectives set out in the strategy;


Argument 2: 35% of paragraphs are off-topic; with regard to the subject of the report: Strategy on Equality between men and women post 2014

- 2. Calls on the Commission to develop measures with the aim to eliminate discrimination against all women in their diversity under a broader anti-discrimination strategy, a distinctive and separate LGBTI roadmap; to that effect, it urges the Council to reach, as soon as possible, a common position on the proposal for a Council directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of their religion or belief, disability, age, gender or sexual orientation, which has been blocked since its adoption by Parliament in April 2009;



- 16. Considers it urgent and necessary to further monitor the transposition and implementation of the directive establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, the regulation on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters and the directive on the European Protection Order up to 2015 and beyond;



- 21. Calls on the Member States to fully implement Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and on the Commission to evaluate and monitor the implementation and to identify best practices for Member States to share with a view to the adoption of a new strategy to combat human trafficking after the current strategy expires in 2016,(...);



- 24. Calls on the Commission to ensure that Member States enable the full legal recognition of a person’s preferred gender, including change of first name, social security number and other gender indicators on identity documents;



- 31. Recommends that, as the composition and definition of families change over time, family and work legislation be made more comprehensive with regard to single-parent families and LGBT parenting;



- 53. Urges the Commission to include sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHRs) in its next EU Health Strategy, in order to ensure equality between women and men and complement national SRHR policies;

- 54.  Calls on the Member States to focus on the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and prevention methods, as well as on prevention and research in order to improve early detection of diseases such as female cancers (cancers of the breast, cervix, and ovaries) by means of regular gynaecological controls and check-ups;

- 55. Reiterates its call on the Commission and the World Health Organisation to withdraw gender identity disorders from the list of mental and behavioural disorders, and to ensure a non-pathologising reclassification in the negotiations on the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), and to ensure that gender diversity in childhood is not pathologised;

- 58. Stresses the importance of awareness-raising campaigns for gender-specific symptoms of disease, as well as gender roles and stereotypes having an impact on health, and calls on the Commission to provide financial support for gender-sensitive research programmes;

- 59. Calls on the Commission to encourage Member States to promote (medical) fertility support and to end discrimination in access to fertility treatment and assisted reproduction; also notes in this connection the importance of support for adoption and the right of all children to know their parents;

- 60. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to act to implement sex education programmes in schools and ensure counselling and access to contraception for young people;

- 61. Calls on the Commission to create incentives for competent training in the critical use of the media in the Member States to encourage the questioning of stereotypes and structures and to share best practice examples so as to review the ways in which roles have been stereotyped in the educational material used to date; calls on the Commission, (...); emphasises in this regard that combating bullying and prejudice against LGBTI persons in schools, whether of students, parents or teachers, should be part of the EU’s efforts to combat gender stereotypes; emphasises in this connection the importance of gender-equitable teaching methods for teachers, so that they can clearly explain the benefits of gender equality and a diverse society;



- 67. Calls on the Commission to assist Member States in the establishment of university chairs in gender studies and feminist research;



-73. Stresses the importance of a gender-sensitive asylum and migration policy, the recognition of the threat of genital mutilation as a reason for asylum, and the development of appropriate guidelines and coordination of best practice examples; emphasises in this connection the indispensability of an individual right to stay, as otherwise there is an imbalance of power, with particular reference to migrant women in cases of domestic violence; calls on the Commission to assess and identify specific actions that can ensure that women asylum-seekers’ rights are strengthened and fully respected throughout the asylum procedure;



Argument 3: 17% of paragraphs entail serious risks of restrictions on freedom of speech of the media, freedom of education and freedom in the context of contractual agreements


- 28. (…) stresses in this connection the need for awareness campaigns for the equal division of domestic work and care and nursing, better investment in care infrastructure, and encouragement  (…);



- 44. Draws attention once again to the fact there is still a gender pay gap that has hardly been reduced in recent years; stresses that the gender pay gap arises from insufficient participation of women in the labour market, vertical and horizontal segregation, and the fact that sectors where women are over-represented often have lower wages; calls on the Commission to monitor the implementation of Directive 2006/54/EU and to present specific measures which take into account structural wage differences, both legislative and non-legislative, so as to ensure wage transparency and apply sanctions, thereby reducing the gender pay gap, and to submit an annual progress report on this matter; encourages the Member States to recognise the potential of the latest public procurement directive as a tool to promote and enhance gender mainstreaming policy by considering setting requirements based on the existing national legislation on equal treatment and gender equality as prerequisites for public procurement contracts where applicable; calls on the Commission and the Member States to examine whether social clauses in public procurement might be used as a potential tool to enhance social inclusion policies; acknowledges that EU legislation on competition must be complied with in developing this idea;

- 60. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to act to implement sex education programmes in schools and ensure counselling and access to contraception for young people;

- 63. Points to the decisive role that education and empowerment play in combating gender stereotypes and ending gender-based discrimination, and to the positive impact for women as well as for society and the economy in general; underlines that it is extremely important to inculcate these values from an early age, and to carry out awareness campaigns in workplaces and the media, highlighting men’s role in promoting equality, the equal distribution of family responsibilities and the achievement of work-life balance;

Argument 4: 7 considerations (from S to X) introduce non-scientifically based elements as well as unfounded allegations
- S. whereas gender stereotypes and traditional structures have a negative impact on health and universal access to sexual and reproductive health and the associated rights, which are fundamental human rights and should therefore never be restricted; whereas the right to control one’s own body and to self-determination is a fundamental prerequisite for universal equality;

- T. whereas one in six couples worldwide experience some form of infertility problem; whereas the Commission should put forward a new Comparative Analysis of Medically Assisted Reproduction in the EU, as the 2008 study (SANCO/2008/C6/051), which then showed significant inequality of access to fertility treatment, is out of date;

- U. whereas there are still educational institutions that practise gender segregation, and education materials often contain stereotypes that help to perpetuate the traditional separate roles assigned to girls and boys, which has a negative influence on their choices; whereas these role patterns are further reinforced especially by representations and the image of women transmitted by the media, material available on the internet and advertising;

- V. whereas Trans persons face frequent discrimination, harassment and violence across the EU today due to their gender identity or gender expression;

- W. whereas the EU has a responsibility and a role as a model for gender equality and women’s rights, which should become a core concern in its external actions; whereas gender equality, the fight against gender-based violence and the empowerment of women are essential if the international development goals are to be attained and for successful EU foreign, development cooperation and international trade policies; whereas women are not only more vulnerable to the effects of energy, environment and climate change, but also effective actors in relation to mitigation and adaptation strategies, as well as a driving force for an equitable and sustainable model of growth;

- X. whereas institutional mechanisms form a necessary basis for the achievement of gender equality; whereas gender equality must also be treated as an important, cross-cutting aspect of all policy areas in the EU and its Member States, together with the concepts of gender mainstreaming, gender budgeting and gender impact assessment;










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